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ACT election 2020: Andrew Barr says ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury could

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Chief Minister Andrew Barr says ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury should take a senior role in his next cabinet, as the parties are set to hash out their desired position in the Assembly this week. Mr Barr said there was a place for his Greens’ counterpart in the next government but the position of deputy chief minister would be returned to Yvette Berry. It would be particularly fitting for a woman to retain a leadership position in the ACT’s second female-majority parliament. “I strongly believe the Greens should play a role in the cabinet and I think there’s a very senior role for Shane Rattenbury and I value Shane’s contribution to the government,” he told ABC Radio Canberra on Monday morning. “His team have performed very well in the election … there is still a lot of votes to be added into the count including those that were cast before the election on paper ballots.” The Greens could claim five and possibly six seats as counting continues. The fifth seat in Brindabella was still in contention on Monday between Labor and the Greens, but Mr Barr’s party saw a big 7.4 per cent swing towards it in the southern electorate where it secured two seats. “People laughed at me in the media conference two weeks ago when I said don’t write off Labor’s chances here,” Mr Barr said. He put the increase down to his government’s crisis management. “We also received a big tick for our management of the bushfires over the summer and our management of the pandemic and our commitment to renewing infrastructure in Tuggeranong and delivering new infrastructure including all of the projects around Lake Tuggeranong.” Mr Barr cautioned with a stream of postal votes yet to be added to the count, several seats remained up in the air. “Those votes have not yet been added into the preference distribution and they will shift things,” he said. “The Liberals party primary vote will increase and the impact of postal votes … I expect that will favour incumbents and in the past that has also favoured major parties.” The configuration of the next parliament is yet to be determined, although Mr Barr said his party’s alliance with the Greens had worked well for the past two terms. “Labor has achieved about 38 per cent of the vote … we’re going to have the most number of members it would seem of any party, so we would need to lead the government but there is a very important and constructive role that the Greens party would undoubtedly play,” he said. “Time will tell depending on what happens internally within the Liberals as to what sort of role they want to play in the next Assembly.” “We are definitely going to see a lot more trees planted in Canberra over the next four years and there will be a focus on reducing cost of living, but it’s going to be done in a way that creates jobs and reduces our greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

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